Abu Dhabu, January 21: Michael Chiesa outworked Neil Magny to gain ground in the top 5 of the welterweight division during UFC Fight Island 8: Chiesa vs. Magny (Also known as UFC on ESPN 20) at the Etihad Arena on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday (January 20).
In the Main Event, top welterweight contenders #8 ranked Chiesa and #9 ranked Magny fought for a place in the top five. Chiesa took the first round with dominant work on the feet and the canvas, and continued with grappling in the second.
The third's momentum swung back and forth but Chiesa finished strong on top, and he continued the same ground strategy in the championship rounds. It was the work needed for Chiesa to win by unanimous decision.
In the Co-Main Event, Warlley Alves made the most of his 12th UFC appearance by stopping upstart Mounir Lazzez aggressively with body kicks in the middle of the very first round.
Also on the main card, Ike Villanueva finally announced himself loud and clear with an early second round knockout win over Dana White's Contender Series vet Vinicius Moreira.
Women's flyweight rankers #8 Roxanne Modafferi and #9 Viviane Araujo met to battle into the top 5, and Araujo came out on top of the first 2 rounds with her striking and her grappling. Modafferi surged in round 3 but it wasn't enough and Araujo took the unanimous decision win.
Fyweights looking to rise into title contention #9 Matt Schnell and #13 Tyson Nam engaged in a toe-to-toe battle that was contested completely on the feet.
Schnell consistently put together combinations, while Nam looked for his trademark one punch KO, and so Schnell's volume swayed two of the scorecards to his favor for a split decision win.
Lerone Murphy and Douglas Silva put on a brutal featherweight bout that went through third round, and showcased the skills of the undefeated prospect against the grizzled veteran. The momentum of the close fight swung from beginning to end, and on the scorecards Murphy earned the victory.
Opening up the main card with a bout at middleweight, #13 Omari Akhmedov kept his momentum going with a strong first round performance against Tom Breese, and won with a triangle choke finish in the second round.
Earlier in the preliminary card, Su Mudaerji, Dalcha Lungiambula, Francisco Figueiredo and Mike Davis earned decision wins, while Ricky Simon, Umar Nurmagomedov and Manon Fiorot picked up stoppage wins.
UFC Fights Island 8 Final Results:
1. Welterweight bout: Michael Chiesa defeated Neil Magny via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)
2. Welterweight bout: Warlley Alves defeated Mounir Lazzez via first-round TKO at 2:35
3. Light Heavyweight bout: Ike Villanueva defeated Vinicius Moreira via second-round KO at 0:39
4. Women's Flyweight bout: Viviane Araujo defeated Roxanne Modafferi via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
5. Flyweight bout: Matt Schnell defeated Tyson Nam via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
6. Featherweight bout: Lerone Murphy defeated Douglas Silva de Andrade via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
7. Middleweight bout: Omari Akhmedov defeated Tom Breese via second-round submission at 1:41
1. Bantamweight bout: Ricky Simon defeated Gaetano Pirrello via second-round submission at 4:00
2. Flyweight bout: Su Mudaerji defeated Zarrukh Adashev via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
3. Middleweight bout: Dalcha Lungiambula defeated Markus Perez via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
4. Flyweight bout: Francisco Figueiredo defeated Jerome Rivera via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
5. Lightweight bout: Mike Davis defeated Mason Jones via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
6. Bantamweight bout: Umar Nurmagomedov defeated Sergey Morozov via second-round submission at 3:39
7. Women's Flyweight bout: Manon Fiorot defeated Victoria Leonardo via second-round TKO at 4:08